December 13, 2013 by Heather
Disclaimer: No Mom, not pregnant.
I recently read an article that made this (summarized) claim: If your main reason for having a second child is to give the child you have now a sibling, then you should not have another baby. I couldn’t find the link to it, but it went on to say that you have to want the baby just for yourself and blah blah blah. I see where they are coming from – kind of the whole “if you have a dog that is hyper and you get a second dog in hopes that they will play together, at the end of the day you still have two dogs” thing. I get it. But at the same time I have to disagree. Do I want to have another baby? Meh. I’ve made no excuses about how difficult it’s been. Do I want Parker to have a sibling? Gosh, yes. A hundred percent yes. I’d be lost without my brother and sister.
I think the article forgot to take into account how becoming a parent makes you suddenly way more selfless than you ever wanted to be. It doesn’t happen overnight, this selflessness. It’s a daily struggle, if I’m being honest. Kids take up your space – everywhere. Your brain space, your body space, your home space, your stuff-I-want-to-do space. To quote Downton Abbey, it’s the “on and on-ness” of parenting that can (and will) wear you down to a nub. There have been many occasions where I reach the end of my rope after a particularly trying day and tell Andrew, “I just need to not be needed for like ten minutes.” (can I get an amen?)
But somewhere – somehow – in the midst of all the pushing and pulling and giving of parenting… you morph into this strange new self. If you are as introverted and self involved as I am, it’s kind of an annoying version of yourself that just might tick you off from time to time because I JUST WANT TO DO WHAT I WANT TO DO WHEN I WANT TO DO IT AHHH LEAVE ME THE FRICK ALONE ALREADY. But then it pokes its shy head back up through your nasty attitude.. this self who would do anything… anything… for this little child who makes you lose your mind most everyday. Even if that means having another baby so he can experience the many joys that come with having a sibling.
I loved, LOVED, being pregnant. I felt amazing. I had all these grand ideas about how it would be once the baby was actually here… and then he got here and I was like, hold up. Hoooold the phone. This isn’t what I thought. The delivery was kind of traumatic. The after-part wasn’t much better. I struggled. I cried. I thought we’d made a mistake. I didn’t want the gift God saw fit to put in my arms.
The thought of going through that again – the whole experience, the emotion of it all – scares me. But at the same time, I made it through. You know what I mean? We got to the other side, this wonderful side of things where YES, he sleeps through the night, and YES, I love him more than my own life. I drag my finger through the cracks of his high chair to scrape off dried yogurt and I watch freaking Baby Einstein twice a day. I look like complete poop most of the time and our house is usually a certified disaster area, but if Parker is happy and enjoying his little life, I’m in. Count me in, bro.
I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know about any other babies who might be in it. God does. But I do know one little boy who would be over the moon for a life-long playmate. I would enjoy being pregnant again, and shoot, I’ve got this whole caring-for-a-baby skill set that I might as well put to use again. Gotta get my money’s worth.
Last year this time at Andrew’s parents’ house we were going around the table discussing our New Years resolutions. I didn’t really know what to say (lose all this Hoover Dam baby weight???!!!), but I remember saying something about how in the coming year I hoped to get to the point to where I was at least thinking about having another baby.
It only took me all year to get to this point. I feel like that’s still a major success.